Archive for November, 2010

Decision impairment

So I finally picked a sofa and I’m now stuck on fabric. I’ve narrowed it down to two and I can’t seem to decide. It would be comical if it wasn’t so ridiculous.

The problem is that I like the look of one but the feel of the other. One looks better in our house, but doesn’t work on the new rug I ordered. The other is a bit dark for our house, but works perfectly on the new rug. Both fabrics are from a collection called “WearSmart” which are made to be super resilient against kids, dogs, and spills, while still looking good.

Lesson learned: Order the couch before the rugs, not the other way around. Sigh. I can always try and sell the rugs — I’m not crazy about them, but what a pain.

So it’s down to two fabrics. Yesterday I was set on one, today I was set on the other. The friends I’ve asked are split. My husband just wants me to make a decision because I’m driving him crazy. I’m driving myself crazy. It’s not like me to care so much about something so insignificant. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.


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We had a lovely Thanksgiving… with a group of friends. Mags and I shared the cooking and had help a long the way. We also got to meet our friends’ foster children. Wish I could show the cute photos I took of them, but no can do.

I always miss my family during the holidays, but half of them are in Canada, where Thanksgiving is celebrated in October. Christmas is hard for us to all get together since we span the continent and have in-laws and weather and work schedules to juggle. Summer time is when my family tries to reunite in Nova Scotia — and we usually see Brian’s parents in the spring and fall.

Anyway, here are a few samples of our celebration yesterday:

The shot above is a little dark, but these are Mags’ brandied plums and cherries which we served with prosecco for a starter cocktail. Yum!

Above is the Lee Brothers’ Ambrosia Salad. And below are French green beans with shallots, leeks, garlic, lemon, and olive oil:

Could this be more gorgeous? Mags and I were inspired by a Bobbly Flay recipe which called for pomegranate molasses, pomegranates, and a special butter mixed with roasted brussel sprouts. It was fabuli.

And here’s my apple pie. Sadly, my pics of both the pecan pie and the buttermilk sweet potato pie (made my Mags) didn’t turn out great — but all the pies were delicious, if I do say so myself.

I even made a gluten-free apple tart for Irene, which I think kind of flopped, but oh well. Mags and Hal perfectly prepped the turkey and then the oven decided to sputter so we carved off pieces as they were ready. It didn’t matter one bit –we had good wine, tasty food, and fun conversation as we gave thanks for our many blessings.

One of mine is all of you who take time to read this little blog.

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Photos (part two)

Here’s another set of photos from my photography field trip the other day. The first is probably my favorite of the bunch:











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I took an intro to digital photography course recently, hoping it would help me with my new camera. Unfortunately, I can’t say I learned much, although maybe I’m a tiny bit more in the know. Which means I’m still a lot in the dark.

On Saturday, some members of our class gathered in a nearby neighborhood to shoot pictures. A field trip of sorts. It was interesting to notice what I was drawn to… macro shots, interesting textures, layers, and lines, random moments. I love taking pictures of people, but I don’t like to shoot strangers without permission.

Anyway, here’s a sample of my beginner’s work…








I’ll post some more tomorrow…

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Friday stuff

I made this for breakfast this morning. It’s a quinoa pudding (or porridge, maybe) with banana slices and chopped pistachios.I saw the recipe at this lovely food blog a long time ago and it captured my imagination. I did my own little version.

The recipe makes a ton, though, so if you’re only cooking for two, cut the ingredients in half. I’m always looking for new ways to use healthy grains and this is definitely something I’d make again. Real vanilla bean makes a difference, but just use some quality vanilla if you don’t have it. In place of the dairy, you could easily use soy, rice or almond milk, and you could add some coconut milk, too, which I may try next time.

In more exciting news, one of my MBFs (Mommy Blogger Friends), Harmony, received word that she and her husband Dan are officially now the parents of a precious little girl. Go on over and say congrats if you have a moment.

I just love when people get their referrals and court dates and children. It feels like it will never be us, but I’m seriously doing okay with that. Our time will come, God willing, and until then I’m living in the present moment.

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Cupcakes and Throw Downs

Mags and I read Pioneer Woman and heard she was going to be on Throw Down With Bobby Flay tonight on the Food Network. That called for me showing up at Mags’ house with some cupcakes from the new cupcakery down the street. Never mind that I’m off sugar, it had to be done. The verdict was a B+ on my end. I’m not a big cupcake girl, but this place uses top-notch ingredients and there were a couple I’d have again.

Ree (PW) won the throw down, btw. Which is only right, given it was a homemade Thanksgiving dinner and she used her family recipes. Though Bobby Flay made a brussel sprouts dish that I was drooling over and I don’t even like brussel sprouts that much.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, what are your “must haves” for the big holiday meal?

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Step by step

We live in a charming little brick row house built in 1901. It still has its original floors and lots of exposed brick.

It’s also 9 feet wide — at it’s widest spot.

This fact presents a wee bit of a challenge when it comes to buying furniture and setting up our space.

We’re trying to reconfigure our downstairs to get ready for the kids. We must make a little room for crawling and walking, rolling around and dancing. There must be space to keep a few toys, books, and all the diapers Brian will be changing. Therefore, things have to change.

Some items are in storage now and we just lent out our large barn wood table — we needed something smaller. But do you think I could find a decent table under 35″ wide? Nope. Nothing affordable. Nothing I could live with. I looked everywhere. I had my peeps looking everywhere.

Then Margaret heard of a place about 30 min away — a second hand shop where she was hoping to score a new TV table. I tagged along, just in case the miraculous happened.

And call me crazy, but on the second floor a lightning bolt came down and when the smoke lifted there was a cute little reclaimed barn wood table, about the size I needed. The table top wood is light but I think I can stain it to better match our chairs.

It works. Something works!

Lest you think I’m being a drama queen (and apparently, I can be quite the drama queen when I want to be), I have obstacles every step of the way in here…

For example, I’m also trying to create an entry way area at the front of the house. We need a shelf, some hooks, and a little bench under/in which I can place bins for shoes, mitts, etc. But every suitable shelf and bench is either too short or too wide for the space because nothing in this house is standard size.

So, we hired a carpenter to custom make the top piece, since adding the bench was too much money and I think I can find something to use there eventually.

I’m also looking for a couch. It will be our only one so it needs to be comfy. And there’s only one spot for it so it can’t be more than 35″ deep. And I’d like it to be a sofa bed so that guests have a place to sleep, since Brian’s office is now where our spare room used to be. And it needs to be affordable.

The problem is, sofas are not made for houses less than 9 feet wide. The only sofas you can find are either (a) uncomfortable, or (b) very modern, chic, and expensive — and also somewhat uncomfortable.

Also, sofa beds pull out to a standard 90″ or so — and that (of course) is too long for our space.

I’ve found three potential sofas, but they’re not sofa beds. I’m not quite ready to give up my dream yet, but I may have to.

In the mean time, I haven’t opened one of my rugs yet. I’m ready to, I really am, but I don’t have a rug pad for it and I need to move the furniture to remove the old rug. It’s going to happen. In fact, my husband may actually be able to help me soon — he’s on a roll of better days right now. We’re praying for no more setbacks.

When all this comes together, I promise I’ll give you a picture tour.

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